Cutting through the noise for Canadian VARs and MSPs Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:43:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Copyright © 2012 ( ( Technology 1440 144 144 Cutting through the noise for Canadian VARs and MSPs -- The official podcast of, the independent blog covering the Canadian IT solution provider channel., channel, reseller, VAR, MSP, managed, services, solution no clean Embarcadero expands channel opportunities with RAD Studio XE7 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:43:53 +0000 Enterprise Mobility Services, a new back-end turnkey middleware service that hosts loadable custom API and data access modules to provide secure access from mobile and desktop apps to enterprise databases, will provide partners with new revenue from end-users.

Embarcadero MD_Designer

The FireUI Multi-Device Designer interface in Embarcadero RAD Studio XE7


San Francisco-based Embarcadero Technologies, which makes software solutions for application and database development, has released its Embarcadero RAD Studio XE7, which builds connected apps for Windows, Android, iOS, OS X, gadgets, and wearables. The XE7 release also provides a significant new revenue opportunity for channel partners by allowing them to tap into the end user revenue for the first time through Enterprise Mobility Services licensing.

Embarcadero consists of two divisions. One side, which was buttressed earlier this year by the acquisition of the ERwin solution from CA Technologies, focuses on database management and architecture tools. The other side where RAD Studio fits, consists of application development tools like RAD Studio, Delphi and C++ Builder, and are aimed at developers who write code.

RAD Studio, which was acquired from Borland in 2008, has a long history of serving Windows-focused developers, and is focused on helping developers extend Windows apps to mobile devices by building with a common source code base.

“We use native code compiled languages like C++ to get the best performance possible,” said J.T. Thomas, director of developer products at Embarcadero.

“With the rise of Apple and Android, most Windows developers are challenged with supporting all three platforms,” Thomas said. “They have a real challenge on their hands and that’s what we work on to solve – providing a framework for common API across all three platforms.”

Thomas said that while the last two RAD Studio releases added more support for mobile, RAD Studio XE7 supports the next step in that evolution, adding interaction with gadgets and wearables. The key development here is the addition of support for Bluetooth, which powers many of these gadgets and devices.

“In our last release, we introduced App Tethering, which adds code to an existing application so it can be discovered and interact with other apps, and with XE7, we bring Bluetooth to the table,” Thomas said. Hundreds of gadgets and wearables are now able to connect through Bluetooth with existing Windows and mobile apps.

“We didn’t include Bluetooth with XE6 because it was hard,” Thomas said. “We waited to make sure we could make it work, while also making it easy to use for the developer.”

XE7 also adds FireUI Multi-Device Designer, which Embarcadero developed to build a shared user interface that is optimized for specific devices and form factors.

“FireUi is a collection of technologies that lets developers build a common user interface and then optimize only the small interfaces they need for each specific device,” Thomas said. “Developers now can manage 90% of their code that is common between these interfaces, and just fine-tune pieces for a particular device.” This will help them get connected apps to market faster by developing for multiple platforms and device form factors simultaneously.

Another major addition with this release is Enterprise Mobility Services (EMS), a new back-end turnkey middleware service that hosts loadable custom API and data access modules to provide secure access from mobile and desktop apps to enterprise databases.

“This provides enterprises with built in security, which gives access to user authentication and authorization and to an embedded data store that’s encrypted, and also provides analytics,” Thomas said.

EMS is based on open and standard technologies, including REST HTTP calls and JSON data formats, and provides major SQL database drivers along with a built-in encrypted, embedded, and server-side SQL data store.

EMS also provides partners with a new revenue opportunity. While Embarcadero’s developer licenses are sold through perpetual licenses, with a cost for upgrades, when EMS is actually deployed, there is a license fee for the number of users.

“EMS offers a whole new opportunity to sell licenses for back end services,” Thomas said. “Not only is it a new revenue source, but it is also based on capacity since it is based on end users. Resellers can find enterprises struggling with this challenge, solve it, and monetize it on an annual basis through a capacity user licensing model.”

Other RAD Studio XE7 enhancements include: a new Parallel Computing Library which lets developers significantly boost multi-threaded app performance on multi-core systems; Object Pascal Language enhancements; RTL enhancements; database and FireDAC enhancements; new PAServer manager; and FireMonkey enhancements.

RAD Studio XE7 is available now.

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HP announces its ProLiant Gen9 servers Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:09:24 +0000 Feeds and speeds of individual servers await later rollouts, but HP is promising three times the compute power of Gen8 servers, and a focus server strategy for the modern data centre.

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The HP ProLiant ML 350 Gen9 rack server.

HP has unveiled its new portfolio of HP ProLiant Generation 9 (Gen9) servers, which the company is terming as a major delivery milestone in their compute strategy.

The announcements were somewhat short on detail on the specific servers – which will be fleshed out when Intel officially announces its Xeon E5-2600 v3 family of processors at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco from September 9-11. But HP did lay out its strategy, and its own technologies which underlay it.

“With ProLiant 9 we are announcing our vision for the future of datacentre technology to accelerate IT service delivery, lower cost and fuel business growth,” said McLeod Glass Director, Product Marketing, Industry Standard Servers and Software at HP.

“HP created the x86 server market 25 years ago and set the direction,” Glass said. “Today IT infrastructure is often slow and manually driven. We believe the server is the heart of the data centre, and to enable it to keep pace with industry demands of the last ten years, a new approach to servers is needed.”

The HP ProLiant Gen9 Servers are designed to provide that approach, creating a vast pool of processing resources that can be located anywhere, scaled to any workload and available at all times. Providing such a virtual pool of compute power is fundamental to the software-defined data centre, and is at the heart of HP’s compute strategy.

“With this, the HP compute strategy shifts completely from the discrete siloes of the past, and can scale to any type of workload,” Glass said. “The server is more important than it has ever been in the software defined data center, and to make that come together, our server platforms depart from the old server mold to focus on highly targeted special workloads, which will be optimized for those workloads. Apollo and Moonshot in particular are targeting particular workloads, allowing them to deliver higher level SLAs that businesses are demanding from IT.”

Twenty-one new HP servers in four architectures — blade, rack, tower and scale-out — are scheduled to be formally introduced between IDF in September and June 2015. The first of these are new Gen9 versions of the ML 350, the BL 460c blade server, the DL 360 and DL 380, the Apollo 6000 XL230a and the Apollo 8000 XL730f.

“We are also adding two new servers to the Apollo family,” Glass said. “The DL160 and DL180 are positioned to replace the DL 360e and DL 380e. They are a little bit different, and targeted more at lower-cost competition.”

While the feeds and speeds on individual servers will need to wait for their formal launch, in general Glass said that the new Gen9s will have triple the compute power of their Gen8 antecedents.

“As customers look to refresh, we can deliver 3x of compute per watt over our 3-5 year old systems,” he said.

The new servers’ modular architecture will improve configuration flexibility, and Gen9’s enhanced restful APIs and HP’s OneView infrastructure management application will improve efficiency.

“A lot of customers have used our scripted toolkit in the past, but now they will have the option of using the restful API to do that scripting,” Glass said. “That’s new in Gen9.”

OneView was previously only available on HP blades, but is now on rack servers as well, and Glass said it has been significantly upgraded.

“One View will do management 66 times faster than previously,” he said.

Some of the enhancements are not HP-specific, but reflect improved standards and components. For example the Smart Array Controllers, Host Bus Adapters and SAS HDD have all been upgraded from 6 GB/s to 12 GB/s. Memory has also been updated from DDR3 to DDR4, although HP of course does have its own HP DDR4 Smart Memory.

Glass said the new servers are also easier for channel partners to work with.

“Partners will find the overall design with way systems are built to be very channel friendly,” he said. “For example, the latest DL 380 can go from a 2 drive to a 26 drive configuration in a single box. That makes it easily configurable by the partner and lets them cover a wider spectrum of workloads.”

Glass also suggested that the sexiness of Gen9 will make life easier for partner sales.

“They will find customers will be excited about these, and it will stimulate good conversations for the partners, so they can address more of the things their customers are looking for.”

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TrapX Security targets MSSPs with new global partner program Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:34:37 +0000 Trap-X has placed its TrapX Security Operation Center on the Google Cloud Platform, which allows partners to deploy entire secure SOCs and sensors quickly and inexpensively.

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TrapX’s Zombie Zero discovery, from their report on the finding.

TrapX Security, which is focused on defending against zero-day malware and APTs, has only recently entered the North American marketplace. It has, however, now announced a partner program to recruit, train and support partners, who are the company’s sole vehicle to market since they do not sell direct.

TrapX is another entry from the impressive Israeli high-end security sector. Founded in Tel Aviv in 2011, they were self-funded for three years, until they closed their Series A round of funding and began to expand into North America in March of this year.

“Our approach involves taking two technologies that have been around for a while – Honeypot technology and Deep Packet Inspection – and combining them into an intelligent grid,” said Carl Wright, TrapX’s General Manager of North America.

“Honeypot tech had been very manual and required a Tier 3 engineer, and it couldn’t scale out, so it wasn’t in the right place at the right time, Wright said. “We have created a virtual appliance that can monitor 16 different VLANs with honeypots. We also use Deep Packet Inspection, and compare what the DPI sees with real-time threat data we OEM from ThreatTrack. Combining these two technologies lets the DPI talk to the honeypots, and shares information based on what they are seeing in an automated way.”

It is a modern adaptive type of defense in depth, working from the premise that persistent attackers are going to get in, so the goal is not to stop them, but in real time to detect and block them, provide them with alternative targets, sandbox them, and let them execute their now-harmless attacks to get intelligence about them.

“It’s an effective response, and unlike some solutions of this type, you don’t get false positives,” Wright said.

Unusually for a company in Series A stage funding, TrapX has a product which is advanced enough to be attractive to managed security service providers (MSSPs), and these are a main target of TrapX’s partner recruitment efforts.

‘Usually, a Series A stage, a company would still be building out the product, but because we were self- funded for three years, we are shipping mature product with an advanced management infrastructure,” Wright said. “We also built multi-tenancy into it for the MSSPs. Usually, you wouldn’t go after MSSPs right away, and would focus on getting an enterprise foothold, but because the management infrastructure is so rich already and because MSSPs need to introduce new differentiated products to avoid just competing on price, this is very sweet for them.” Wright noted that this week, they signed up two of the largest MSSPs in Mexico.

Some of the MSSPs TrapX is signing up are VARs who have broadened out into the cloud to diversify their customer offerings.

“VARs who were classic box movers found they had to shift business to cloud, and many are converting box revenue into service revenue as MSSPs,” Wright said. “So we are signing up classic VARS and also signing them up as MSSPS which are two very different revenue models for us, classic reseller and monthly subscription.” TrapX also has strategic technology partners, who integrate TrapX technologies with complementary products or services.

Wright said they would like to sign up between 4 and 5 partners a month and are on target to do that.

Trap-X has placed its TrapX Security Operation Center on the Google Cloud Platform, which allows partners to deploy entire secure SOCs and sensors quickly and inexpensively.

“We teach VARs how to stand up an entire TrapX SOC on Google in a couple hours, and it’s tremendously inexpensive,” Wright said.

TrapX finds and pre-qualifies leads, which it turns over to partners after qualifying them on business need, sponsorship, and funding. It also offers partners MDF funds to drive qualified opportunities forward. Partners are also provided with support through joint road shows, lunch and learns, and a partner portal with a configuration tool, sales guides, technical resources, deal registration and other material.

“This is a very rich program, with some things that are a little different, Wright said. “For instance, we subsidize a large part of MSSP startup costs by letting them make a lot more revenue in the first year. We have gotten tremendous feedback from that. It’s a great model to help the partners onboard the technology.”

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VMware cuts partners in on ELAs, services Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:44:15 +0000 VMware says the company and its partners have to build closer customer relationships, outlines upcoming program changes to help partners make it happen.

VMware channel chief Dave O'Callaghan (left) and president and COO Carl Eschenbach (right).

VMware channel chief Dave O’Callaghan (left) and president and COO Carl Eschenbach (right).

SAN FRANCISCO – Vmware used its Partner Day at VMworld here this week to introduce some changes, both implemented and soon-to-be, that promise to cut partners in on parts of the business where they had been at a disadvantage before.

First and most prominently, Carl Eschenbach, president and COO of VMware, announced a backend rebate on partners’ registered sales that end up going through the company’s Enterprise License Agreement (ELA). Currently about 40 per cent of VMware’s business in any given quarter, ELAs combine VMware various VMware software and services with maintenance under a single agreement.

“As we move from being a single product company to a company with portfolios, partners want access to a lot more of our solutions, and they want it on a regular basis,” Eschenbach said. “Historically, we’ve almost put you in a box [on enterprise agreements] but we’ve come to recognize and enjoy that you can provide value to us and our mutual customers not just in SMB and the commercial segment, but in the enterprise itself.”

The executive said that going forward, partners will “keep the same benefits and the same kind of partner program” for business conducted on a transactional basis and that done via ELA, and announced a three per cent backend rebate on registered business conducted via ELA. Global channel chief Dave O’Callaghan added that the backend rebate was incremental to all partner program-based discounts and rebates for tiers, specialization, and deal registration. O’Callaghan also announced that the window for deal registration has been extended to 120 days, perhaps in deference to the more detailed sales process needed to complete an ELA versus the more transactional point product sales motion.

Terry Buchanan, vice president of technology at Zycom Technology, an Ontario-based VMware partner, said partners seeing “a lot of uptake” on ELAs, particularly around the company’s end user computing efforts. But the all-inclusive (and financed over time) nature of ELAs have proved a way for Zycom to upsell customers additional VMware solutions – for example those who couldn’t afford to take the whole chunk of vCloud or vSphere up front, but can afford additional vCloud or vSphere software when inserted into the ELA structure.

“We’re definitely seeing end user computing ELAs pulling vCloud sales, and that’s something we didn’t expect,” Buchanan said.

Still, he said ELAs have a lot of “cost pressures” on them for partners, and welcomed the backend discount as a way to boost profitability. Despite some challenges, he suggested that selling via ELA has some significant benefits for partners.

“It really boosts your stickiness, lets you bundle services and support into the sale longer-term,” Buchanan said. “It lets you figure out what your customer really needs, and then start staging how they actually buy.”

The company also announced the next step in its Value Channel program evolution, with O’Callaghan announcing that by next year’s Partner Exchange (typically in February), it will add partners’ professional services into the mix. While details were scarce, O’Callaghan did admit that “to date, we have been somewhat competitive to you” in professional services, and that the program would “construct a value channel around services in a way that no other vendor does.”

While this services announcement will be at the global partner program level, closer to home, VMware Canada is working on its own system to better recognize and include partner services in the mix, said Donna Wittmann, VMware Canada channel chief, and Shawn Rosemarin, executive director of architecture and professional services at VMware Canada.

Rosemarin said that in Canada, the company has “traditionally had partners delivering a lot of our services in concert with us,” and that now the company is putting “more structure” around how it does that.

“Our market has asked us to bring together the services channel and the reseller channel, and we’re adding a lot of formality to it,” added Wittmann.

Finally, O’Callaghan announced the launch of what the company calls Practice Builder, a redesign of its partner site and tools aimed to streamline partners through the process of partnering with VMware, “from enrolling with the company all the way through building a services partnership with us,” including attaining certifications, finding access to collateral, and spending MDF. O’Callaghan said Practice Builder is in response to his call to partners to get certified with the company and “build the perfect practice around VMware,” issued to the company’s partner base at Partner Exchange earlier this year.

“You went out and got your certifications, but the challenge was that we were very fragmented, with pieces of practice-building happening throughout the company and throughout our Web site,” O’Callghan said.

With it all under one roof on the VMware site, the company hopes to make it easier for partners to more closely align with the vendor, one of its big requests of its partner community.

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Nextivity opens Canadian channel to program to sell digital smart signal boosters Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:32:47 +0000 The company began working with resellers in the U.S. a year and a half ago, and in March 2014 a partner program was formalized in the U.S. That program has now been extended to Canada.

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Cel-Fi smart signal boosters

San Diego-based Nextivity has announced that its Cel-Fi all-digital smart signal boosters are now available in Canada through the Rogers, TELUS, and Bell Canada networks, and that membership in the Nextivity partner program is now available for Canadian resellers who want to resell them.

Nextivity, which was founded in 2006 and has been shipping product since 2009, makes a carrier-grade, all-digital smart signal booster that can more than quadruple wireless data speeds and eliminate dropped calls for wireless subscribers indoors.

“We are simply more powerful than our competitors,” said Werner Sievers, Nextivity’s CEO. “We gives customers high confidence that they will get a bigger footprint from us, so that they need to purchase 1 or 2 systems instead of 2 to 4. RF is not an exact science, and there is usually some tuning, but this is as close as you can get to a plug and play RF product. It means that the reseller can install many more systems in the same period.”

The channel is a relatively new addition to Nextivity’s go-to-market model.

“Our initial thesis and value proposition was to target mobile operators and go to market through them,” Sievers said. “It’s a complex technology and if they didn’t endorse it, we would be very limited in terms of market opportunities, especially outside North America because of regulations.”

Sievers said their challenge was to build a technology that would be endorsed by operators, which is tricky because the operators essentially were able to call the shots, and are picky and choosy.

“We set about finding a way to build a hardware and software platform, and ultimately had to design our own silicon,” he said. “Toshiba fabricated our first processor for us, and we shipped four first product in 2009.”

Nextivity now ships to over 140 operators worldwide in 60-odd countries.

“Only now do we feel the product and space has gotten to the level of maturity that we feel comfortable going through a reseller and integrator channel,” Sievers said.

The company began working with resellers in the U.S. a year and a half ago, and in March 2014 a partner program was formalized in the U.S. That program has now been extended to Canada.

“Our reseller profile is mixed,” Sievers said. “Some are very large, while many are small to medium teams of 10-50 people with strong vertical niches, like home audio-video or marine. Some have markets we never would have imagined. They have these unique verticals and areas they are expert at, and they provide boosting technology as part of a complete solution.”

While Sievers said while the program will likely add tiers in the future, right now it’s a pretty flat program. Members get one-to-one support from a member of Nextivity’s dedicated reseller team in San Diego, and can choose to have Nextivity provide customers support.

“A big difference with us is we don’t pay the inventory game at all, as we require no minimum inventory commitments,” Sievers said. The risk of return is low, and the installation is incredibly easy, so we don’t need arduous reseller agreements. The product enables the reseller, without use of much resources, to test new opportunities very rapidly, and scale them if they show any life. The only real question is if the product matches the reseller’s business model.”

The Cel-Fi for Resellers program is now live in Canada. VARs and custom integrators interested in selling Cel-Fi can apply online at Canadian resellers and customers will also be able to access exclusively Canadian content at

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Avaya, HP take huge step forward in partnership Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:31:14 +0000 The big gain for Avaya is that HP ES will greatly amplify the reach of Avaya Private Cloud Services, and they say the channel will have a significant role to play.


Joe Manuele, VP SI/SP alliances and Global Cloud, at Avaya

Avaya and HP have announced a multi-year agreement to offer cloud-based unified communications and contact center technology, and management solutions for enterprises.

“This is far more than just a partnership agreement,” said Joe Manuele, VP SI/SP alliances and Global Cloud, at Avaya. “This is a huge step forward.”

Avaya previously had a global reseller agreement with HP, and was OEMing their Contact center-as-a-service offering. Now, the companies will sell a combined portfolio of Unified Communications-as-a-Service, Contact Center-as-a-Service, and infrastructure modernization services.

“The agreement also outsources some of our folks to HP, to accelerate our cloud market momentum,” Manuele said. The deal will see the HP Enterprise Services Business Process Services organization assume service delivery of a significant portion of Avaya Private Cloud Services, and that will involve a limited transfer of APCS employees and contractors to HP ES. Sales contracts, service level agreements, and overall client experience will, however, remain with Avaya.

“This agreement reinforces HP’s commitment to the mobility and workplace market and helps to grow HP’s presence in the end-user space,” said Mike Nefkens, EVP and General Manager, HP Enterprise Services. “The partnership with Avaya supports HP’s larger vision for the New Style of IT.”

Avaya gets several things from the deal, including a product refresh of the over 60,000 HP sales agents on Avaya equipment. From a strategic perspective, however, the big gain is that HP ES will greatly amplify the reach of Avaya Private Cloud Services.

“We are greatly expanding the reach of Avaya Cloud Services with this,” Manuele said. “That business will scale globally. HP is offering unified communications-as-a-service in 26 countries and HP will make available unified communications as-a-service and contact center-as-a-service on Helion available to Avaya partners. That is available through a select group of partners today, and we will expand that.”

Not all of Avaya’s nor HP services have been available in the Canadian market in the past, but Manuele said that’s not the case here.

“In Canada, we are working on a couple very large deals related to this,” he said. “There are very substantial customer opportunities for this in Canada

Avaya sees this agreement as a critical step in Avaya’s transformation to a software and services company.

“The market trend of customers from CAPEX to OPEX, with the PBX and other hardware systems that we sell shifting to software, is happening much faster than we originally anticipated,” Manuele said. “It has accelerated our shift to OPEX and the cloud.”

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Dell’s distribution push starting to pay off Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:07:24 +0000 Dell is seeing significant growth through distribution as it ramps up its activity with disties, including a return to working with Ingram Micro Canada.

Dell global channel chief Cheryl Cook

Dell global channel chief Cheryl Cook

Dell’s decision to get active in distribution earlier this year is paying off, as the company has recorded significant growth in both the number of partners buying through distribution, and revenue done through distribution.

In a meeting at this week’s VMworld conference in San Francisco, Dell global channel chief Cheryl Cook told that the company has seen the number of partners buying through distribution increase by double digits, while revenue through disties are up in the triple digits. Distribution is still a small part of the overall mix, but Cook said it’s important to Dell to offer partners choices in how they source and purchase the company’s products.

“We’re delighted by the pace we’re seeing [with distribution],” Cook said. “We’ve always been about customer choice, and I want to advocate partner choice as well.”

Ultimately, that will mean more of the company’s ever-expanding lineup of offerings moving to the channel through distribution. Today, a decent amount of the company client devices, many servers, and some software offerings are available to PartnerDirect members through distribution. Cook said she’d like to see that expanded to see a broader swath of the company’s enterprise offerings, including networking, storage, and security, flowing through disties in the near future.

The vendor has been active here in Canada as well, recently bringing Ingram Micro Canada on board as its first broadline distributor since the experiment with providing a very limited number of desktop and laptop SKUs available through Ingram, Tech Data and others in the very early days of PartnerDirect. That effort, by all accounts, fizzled quickly, as the company was still very focused on the “Direct” in PartnerDirect at the time. But with the company’s offerings expanding, and its channel expanding faster still, it decided earlier this year that it made sense to revisit the role of distribution in its plans, tasking channel veteran Frank Vitagliano with making it happen. In the U.S., the company is working with both Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Cook didn’t rule out the possibility of engaging with Tech Data Canada, or with other broadline distributors in Canada, in the long run, but said that for now, the focus is on getting Ingram Micro “activated and making sure all the right interfaces are in place.”

“If we need to expand over time, we will. But we want to make sure this relationship is off to a healthy start,” she said.

While Cook said “never say never” when it comes to value-added distributors, she seemed less certain that the company needed to engage with the Avnets and Arrows of the market, noting that many of its data centre offerings and converged architecture options are pre-integrated and pre-installed by Dell before going to distribution, negating much of the integration value-add those distributors can provide.

With North America at least starting to be set up, Dell seems to be turning its distribution attention international, recently activating Ingram Micro in Germany, Cook said.

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VMware adds $10B to expected TAM Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:37:32 +0000 VMware sees growth in cloud and end user computing, and tells partners it has to shift its sales motion as it becomes much more than a one-product company.

VMware president and COO Carl Eschenbach

VMware president and COO Carl Eschenbach

SAN FRANCISCO – In February, at its Partner Exchange event here, VMware president and COO Carl Eschenbach told the company’s channel that it sees its total addressable market (TAM) growing to $50 billion (U.S.) by 2017. At this week’s VMworld event, also here, Eschenbach admitted they’d been wrong – it’s actually a lot larger.

At the Partner Day ahead of the start of VMworld, Eschenbach told partners the company now sees its TAM growing to $60 billion by 2017, with much of the growth coming from outside of VMware’s core market of data centre virtualization, or, in VMware parlance, the software-define data centre. That core of the market still makes up a slim majority ($33 billion) of the TAM figure, but cloud ($17 billion) and end user computing ($10 billion) are making up a growing part of the mix for VMware.

“Almost half of the market opportunity we have is in hybrid cloud, public cloud, end user computing, and mobility,” Eschenbach told partners. “We’re investing in those market opportunities, and we’re doing this collectively with all of you.”

The figure for end user computing is particularly expanded – as recently as last year’s VMworld, the software company had pegged its desktop virtualization and mobility business at about 10 per cent of its overall mix, the new figures would peg end user computing at more than half-again that figure.

A growing market is good news for VMware, and surely for the partners who sell the vast majority of those solutions. But the growth is not without some pain. Eschenbach said VMwre and its partners “have to transform how we sell into the market,” particularly as the company has gone from a one-product vendor to one with a growing number of products in a growing number of spheres.

“What we did in the past is not the path to the future,” Eschenbach said. “We need to understand how to sell on-premise transactional business, as well as new business models, like subscription and utility. We have to have deeper, more meaningful, most lasting relationships with our customers.”

Like many other vendors, VMware is now highlighting the important of moving from selling software solutions to selling based on business outcomes, with professional services playing a growing role in making that happen. He told partners that VMware is rapidly becoming “a platform company” with a growing emphasis on selling “suites and bundles” of products produced internally at VMware, as well as those acquired through the company’s many purchases in recent years.

While that’s the new reality for the enterprise side of the market, there are also changes coming to the midmarket/commercial business, where the focus is more on a broad number of channel partners and a high number of transactions. Eschenbach walked partners through the Power Plays the company has in place around top growth initiatives – Virtual SAN, vSphere with Operations Management, Horizon 6 Enterprise and Advances, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service. “If you align with us around these power plays, you’ll be able to see much more profitability on your business,” Eschenbach said, showing that partners can get up to 12 per cent discount through Advantage Plus depending on partner tier, plus a 10 per cent “accelerator” bonus around these Power Play solutions, and up to 15 per cent more for having certifications appropriate to the solution sold.

Eschenbach hinted that the tent could become a lot bigger for events like Partner Day at VMworld and Partner Exchange, noting that through the expanding areas of focus and through the acquisitions it has completed and will complete, the company is moving “from a narrow partner ecosystem to a world with many new partnerships that expand the ecosystem for VMware.”

To wit, the company introduced its technology partners as the newest members of its new Value Channel program championed by global channel chief Dave O’Callaghan. Under the program Eschenbach said VMware will incent technology partners to invest with VMware in the same ways it has with solution providers and distributors over the last year. While many vendors have technology partners in their partner programs, VMware is somewhat unique in the breadth of technology parnters with which it works. In fact, upwards of 40 per cent of Partner Day attendees were from technology partners, and not traditional channel (distributor and solution provider) organizations.

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EMC adds RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:20:13 +0000 The biggest attraction for the channel here is likely to be its integration with VSPEX, when that is available in Q4.


Jean Banko, Director of Product Marketing with EMC’s Data Protection and Availability Division

EMC has added a new member of the RecoverPoint family, RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines, designed for VMware-based cloud environments.

“This is a completely new member of the RecoverPoint product family, which is fully virtualized,” said Jean Banko, the Director of Product Marketing with EMC’s Data Protection and Availability Division. “It provides local and remote replication in combination with continuous data protection for per-VM recovery to any point in time, with built-in automated disaster recovery orchestration.”

While RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines brings quality and features of EMC RecoverPoint to a 100% software offering, Banko said this is a way point to a service for the hybrid cloud.

“The long term version of this is data protection as a service for the hybrid cloud,” she said. “We believe hybrid clouds will be pervasive and IT will be the internal broker of services both on-prem and off-prem. This provides a simple, efficient and agile solution for VMware based cloud environments, with local and remote replication for per VM recovery.”

Banko stressed that the solution includes a robust set of APIs to facilitate additional integration.

“Next year, you will see integration with VCenter Automation Center, and our ITBM [IT Business Management] solution, and we will also add the self-service portal and service catalogue for ITBM,” she said.

Banko said RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines is suited for a broad market.

“It will appeal to large enterprises and service providers, but we also think the midmarket is a prime sweet spot because it will be integrated with VSPEX,” she said. “VSPEX is the right solution to deliver it there.”

RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines is a member of the RecoverPoint family, but Banko said the difference between how this product works compared to RecoverPoint is night and day.

“The only similarity between the two is they are deployed as a virtual appliance on ESX server,” she said. “Everything else is different. The old product was really aimed at storage admins, and at that protection level, all VMs have to have the same protection policy. The new one is more granular. It takes the RecoverPoint technology and brings it into the hypervisor level. It is really for virtualization admins.”

Banko said this product also has a much broader addressable market.

“This is completely storage-agnostic because of the embedded hypervisor splitter,” she said. “The old one wasn’t, and was only block based storage. Any storage array supported by VMware is now supported by this. It opens up a great market for us, the whole file-based solution market.”

At launch, RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines (unlike its predecessor) only supports the VSphere hypervisor.

“There is a time frame to extend it to other hypervisors, although it won’t be very soon,” Banko said.

As an incent to tempt new customers, EMC is offering a free trial ‘Try & Buy’ download starting in October. A free, fully functioning RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines license will be available — for non-production environments only.

RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines is scheduled for availability in late September. It will not be available as part of VSPEX at launch however. That is scheduled for Q4.

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Scality adds VM storage capabilities to software-based, software-defined storage Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:01:45 +0000 Scality began by selling direct, but is evolving this year to a two-tier model, which they see as the key to their future.


Leo Leung, Scality’s ‎Vice President of Corporate Marketing

Today at VMworld 2014, Scality is introducing version 5.0 of its RING software for software-defined storage. While the software is improved generally, with Scality touting it as 95 per cent faster than last year’s edition for file operations and random IO, the big news with this release is that it now supports VM storage capabilities.

Scality is somewhat unusual in that they are a startup with a 5.0 release of their core product.

“The company has been around since 2009, and has an unorthodox approach to building storage,” said Leo Leung, Scality’s ‎Vice President of Corporate Marketing. “The founders have expertise from other domains, including software, and telecom hosting.”

Leung also said that Scality has benefited from a changing market, in which customers look at software solutions, and buy their software independently from hardware.

“The cloud players have driven this change,” he said. The result is a market where Scality has scored some huge wins, including Comcast and DailyMotion, the latter of which is a French-based rival to YouTube.

Scality’s software is aimed at large enterprises and service providers. While they have customers like Los Alamos National Labs – which has a 500 PB target – they scale down into companies in the hundreds of terabytes, notably in media and entertainment. Because RING is multi-tenant, multi-application, and multi-workload, it is well suited to the service provider market. It supports file, object, and block protocols in a single storage pool, including persistent block VM storage.

Scality RING 5.0 performance matches Amazon EBS at 200 IOPS per VM, with bursting capabilities of 3,000 IOPS per VM, and scales out linearly to hundreds of thousands of VMs. Running at the application layer, it offers unified storage for VM data and massive amounts of application data, for as much as 10X lower cost per terabyte.

“We have many customers in Europe, and are now fully vested in the U.S. – most of our revenue comes from there – and we just opened in Japan.” Leung said.

Leung also stressed that while they are still in the startup stage, in the space in which they play, they are one of the most experienced vendors.

“The number of vendors who have been around even as long as us is very few,” he said. “Our product is quite battle hardened. Even if we were to be acquired, our product stands for itself. It’s very mature and proven and would become a standing product line for the acquirer.”

Scality started out as an object storage provider, and subsequently added file (POSIX) services.

“This year, we are introducing the ability to support VM storage,” Leung said. “Our goal is to support 80% of workload types, and extend it to more and more workloads. There is a place for someone else to take much more of the data at a price point that people want.”

The 20% that Scality isn’t chasing is what Leung called the ‘flash market’ — the super high IO types of applications.

The other major part of Scality’s announcement was improving automation of deployment, installation, and management with support of standard DevOps tools and a redesigned GUI. This includes support of OpenStack Cinder to programmatically provision Scality VM storage.

“We are a strong believer in OpenStack,” Leung said. “It will be a key framework for enterprises to build their own cloud-like environment. So it’s important to automate the way we deploy install and expand the system both through tools like OpenStack, as well as our own interface.”

Like most software vendors focused on the large enterprise market, Scality started selling direct.

“We started with a direct model, and our focus was to get big customers up and running and happy,” Leung said. “What we are evolving to this year is a two-tier model, in which we either work through VARs of our own or indirectly through large vendors we work with. We work with Dell, HP, Cisco – pretty much every major server vendor out there – and can sometimes be sold through their distribution model.”

Formalization of the channel strategy is underway, Leung said.

“We are very focused on leveraging a tier two type of model,” he said. “That’s how we will reach the world.”

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VMware introduces first hyper-converged infrastructure Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:54:23 +0000 VMware works with hardware partners to introduce Evo:Rail, a "hyper-converged infrastucture" offering that aims to make hybrid IT easier for enterprises.

Supermicro EVO Rail hardware with VMware

Supermicro EVO Rail hardware

SAN FRANCISCO – VMware kicked off its VMworld 2014 conference here Monday morning, introducing its first foray into converged infrastructure – or as it is calling it, hyper-converged infrastructure – in the form of the new Evo Rail reference architecture.

CEO Pat Gelsinger said that when enterprises are presented with the idea of the software-defined data centre, enterprises “get it” immediately, and the sales cycle is very short. But he could not necessarily say the same for the deployment cycle, which has often proved more difficult than customers anticipated over the last two years since the company’s “virtualize everything” SDDC strategy debuted two years ago.

“It’s all the components of the software-defined data centre with a common building block, a dramatically simpler hyper-converged infrastructure,” Gelsinger said. “It lets companies get to a software-defined data centre in minutes.”

Esentially, as in converged infrastructure, it brings together compute, storage, and networking into a single SKU, but adds the benefit of tight integration with VMware’s corresponding virtualization offerings for each category and management on top of it. Essentially the only choice customers for Evo Rail need to make is whether they want one fine-tuned for general virtual machine duty, or one fine-tuned for virtual desktops.

In a reference architecture approach, the Evo family will be built by various VMware hardware partners. Launch partners for the rail include global partners Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, and Supermicro, alongside Japan-based Net One, and China-based Inspur.

Notably missing from the list is major VMware partner HP, although Gelsinger said he expects the list of companies offering Evo-based configurations to grow over time, saying that because VMware is “very prescriptive” with hardware requirements, some vendors may have to come in at a different time based on decisions they’ve made with their server hardware lineup.

“We expect other key players to be on board in the future,” he said.

He stressed that it’s meant as an additional route to the software-defined data centre, alongside the slower “build your own” option and existing converged infrastructure offerings, including those from HP and others. The tradeoff appears to be less flexibility in exchange for quicker and easier deployment.

The first offering in the family is the Rail, which will support up to 100 virtual machines per unit, and stack up to four units in a single configuration. That will be followed, Gelsinger said, by the Evo Rack, a much more cloud-scale version that will dramatically ramp the size of deployment. Gelsinger said to expect Evo Rack, currently in the tech preview phase, to debut next year, and hinted that space, which is more directly in line scale-wise with converged infrastructure deployments for the most part, may be where converged infrastructure players get on board with Evo, mentioning VCE as one likely partner in that space.

The key to Evo will be offering “all the ingredients to deliver a 100 per cent software-defined data centre” in a single SKU, said Mornay Van Der Walt, vice president of emerging solutions at VMware.

The “franchise-like” Evo model presents interesting opportunities and challenges to VMware on the channel side. Van Der Walt stressed that each vendor of Evo-specification hardware will market and sell through its own distribution and channel networks, meaning that a successful Evo configuration could find its way to a much broader channel than the traditional VMware partner community. On the other hand, because it’s all a single SKU, and one owned by another vendor at that, VMware may face the challenge of having a larger group of partners selling its new products, but having little or no touch or sway over those new partners. Van Der Walt suggested that “maximizing reach” into the channel was one of the key considerations in bringing Evo Rail out with the announced launch partners.

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VMware’s Gelsinger: Hybrid is the endgame Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:03:03 +0000 Hybrid IT isn't a waypoint on the way to the cloud, it's the right long-term approach for enterprises, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger says ahead of VMworld.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at VMworld 2014.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at VMworld 2014.

SAN FRANCISCO – In February, at the company’s Partner Exchange event here, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger told partners to expect “tectonic changes” in the industry as the result of the move to hybrid IT. Those who arrived early Sunday for the company’s Partner Day ahead of VMworld here this week may have gotten a feel of tectonic change courtesy of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake centered in the Napa Valley that made its presence felt all the way to downtown San Francisco. But, with little damage to the city itself, the show must go on, this time with Gelsinger telling partners that hybrid is not only where it’s at – it’s where it will stay.

“It’s no hybrid because of inertia. This isn’t a waypoint to the future. This is the future,” Gelsinger told 2,000-plus of the company’s partners assembled here. “This is the future because of cost, compliance, regulations, and SLAs. All of them demand this world of hybrid into the future as well.”

Gelsinger pointed out that while off-premise IT is growing at 25 per cent compared to four per cent for on-premise IT, the total revenue market attached to each segment tells the real tale, with $2 trillion per year spent on on-premise IT today, compared to $44 billion on off-premise. That too supports a hybrid style, Gelsinger suggested, allowing partners to have a high-profit high-growth area in public cloud, while the bulk of revenues come from on-premise and private cloud projects.

Finally, Gelsinger said that in the past, on-premise vs. off-premise boiled down to “safe, secure and compliant” pitted against “instant, elastic, and self-service.” A truly hybrid approach, he said, is the only way to move from a choice between the two, to the flexibility to balance based on an organizations own needs and regulatory requirements on a per workload basis.

He told partners that the company, and its channel, have to move more completely towards hybrid IT because the biggest risk facing VMware and its channel is “to perpetuate the status quo” in a time when “the brave will thrive.”

“At Intel, we had the concept of informed risk-taking,” Gelsinger told attendees. “Bravery in business is informed, calculated risk-taking decisions. But we must take risks.”

Gelsinger addressed the subject of the company’s public/hybrid cloud offering, last week rebranded from vCloud Hybrid Services to vCloud Air, the linchpin in the company’s efforts to make sure on-prem and off-prem can be “compatible extensions of each other.” For example, he said partners should be bundling on-premise infrastructure sales with vCloud-based services that accompany it – making a bunch of on-site virtual machines paired with off-site disaster recovery (a new vCloud Air service) the new “burger and fries” combo for enterprise IT.

The executive told partners that while vCloud Air is active today in data centres in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, the company will have 15 data centres operating vCloud Air online around the world by the end of the year, adding that the company has some 3,900 partners worldwide operating cloud offerings based on vCloud Air today, including vCloud-based data centres in more than a hundred countries worldwide, helping to solve the data sovereignty bugaboo that is frequently an inhibitor to public cloud growth internationally.

“That’s what differentiates us from all the other cloud providers in the world today. That’s what allows us to win against the much larger capital investments that people like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are making. We get to aggregate a very broad ecosystem into the future,” Gelsinger said.

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AMD looks to aid small system builders with new Power Packs Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:00:29 +0000 AMD is offering the lowest level of its partner tier, which typically does not get discounts, 6 per cent off boxes of six select processors.


One of AMD’s new Power Packs

AMD is launching a new program aimed at its Select Tier partners, the bottom rung of their new partner program introduced earlier this year. It will make available two different AMD Power Packs, retail boxes of 6 processors and 6 fans at a 6 per cent discount.

“In March we launched our new partner program with the aim of broadening partner reach and providing more growth opportunities for partners, and one of its key cornerstones is Design, enabling our system builder partners,” said Amy McFarland, Worldwide Head, AMD Partner Program.

The Power Packs come in attractive retail boxes for store display, although AMD is stressing that this isn’t just a packaging change, but a strategic move.

“This tries to provide a multi-processor package which could exist on shelf in these shops where components are sold,” said Matt Davis, Product Marketing Manager, AMD. “We have had boxes but only for single units. We have not had retail packs for a multi-processor pack.”

Davis said the boxes are attractive, designed to be engaged with physically, and to take up good real estate in small system builder and retail stores.

“These small shops don’t have large enough accounts where they get the multipack options available to the larger OEMs,” Davis added. “So this is definitely something for the small guys, who traditionally buy PiBs [Processor in box] from local etailers or retailers 1,2, 3 and 4 at a time. And we are taking 6 per cent off our price going into market.”

A six per cent discount isn’t huge, but it is more significant in a market where margins are already so razor thin that many small system builders have exited the space because they can’t make money.

“This also provides a valuable new financial benefit to our Select tier, which typically does not receive monetary benefits through our program.” McFarland said. It is not on the radar for big box stores.

The two Power Packs initially available are the A8-6600K and the Athlon 760k.

“These are two of our highest volume runners,” Davis said. Neither however, is a brand new processor. Nor is either the kind of chip that would go into a gamer rig, which indicates the market AMD sees for these bundles.

“These are more for the value-conscious consumer, “Davis said. “However, if this is successful, which we really hope and intend it to be, we will have additional packages, with newer versions of our processors.” He indicated he would be delighted if a year from now they have half a dozen processors in the Power Packs.

AMD has over 35,000 in its Select Tier globally, but, and it’s a big but, only 4000-5000 of them are in North America.

“Our projections for this are fairly modest in our more developed markets,” Davis said. He said it will be stronger in developing markets. In Africa for example, both SMB and gamer buyers identify with their local economy and do much of their buying from local mom and pops. Latin America, he added, was another region where the mom and pops are stronger than large retailers.

Still, while on a macro-level for AMD, the program’s success will be measured largely by how well it does outside North America, small system builders in North America will likely be grateful for whatever break they can get.

“This market hasn’t been involved much because it is difficult,” Davis said. “It’s like a school of fish. It’s a large market which has not been involved in depth.”

Because no one else – most specifically Intel – has been doing anything similar to go after this market, Davis thinks this program will get Intel’s attention.

“These two products are pain points for Intel,” he said. “Intel is more controlled than we are, and want to charge a premium for features. These deliver better features than their Intel equivalents. They have more cores — four, while Intel is dual in this range [albeit four-threaded]. They are also faster, and are in unlocked processors.”

Shipment of the AMD Power Packs to distributors has begun, and will be able to solution providers by late August or early September.

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Dell expands its open networking with VMware, Cumulus collaborations Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:59:45 +0000 The new Dell-VMware converged infrastructure solution is aimed at the mid-market, while the offering with Cumulus is targeted more at very large, Linux-savvy organizations.


Arpit Joshipura, Vice President of Product Marketing and Management at Dell Networking

Dell has announced two new solutions stemming from partnering arrangements around the software-defined data centre enabled by open networking. The first comes from an extension of its longtime relationship with VMware, which will deliver solutions to accelerate adoption of network virtualization and open networking in the software-defined data centre. It includes a new midmarket solution, backed by a joint go-to-market initiative, a validated reference architecture and a global reseller agreement. The second comes from a relationship with Cumulus Networks to deliver the VMware NSX network virtualization platform with Cumulus Linux on Dell Networking switches, in an offering aimed more at very large enterprises and service providers.

“The two solutions that we are announcing here complement each other,” said Arpit Joshipura, Vice President of Product Marketing and Management at Dell Networking. “We are taking VMware NSX support to the next level – where it’s validated, and available on Dell converged infrastructure. This is the industry’s first converged system with the NSX virtualized layer added to that.”

The Dell-VMware converged infrastructure solution is aimed at the mid-market. It features the VMware NSX network virtualization platform running on top of Dell servers, networking, and storage infrastructure. The servers include the Dell PowerEdge M1000e server blade chassis. The networking infrastructure includes the Dell Networking 10/40GbE MXL blade switch, S4810 Top of Rack switch and S6000 fabric switches, and the storage is Dell Storage iSCSI arrays. The solution is tested, validated and supported by Dell. Furthermore, to simplify deployment, Dell and VMware deliver a validated reference architecture.

“This is the first true end-to-end converged solution with a blue print for Dell servers, storage and networking along with VMware ESX and NSX software, so that the converged infrastructure now supports networked virtualization with NSX,” Joshipura said.

In addition, VMware NSX is now available worldwide through both Dell’s channel and through Dell direct.

The second preconfigured solution, available through Dell, and which combines VMware NSX with Cumulus Linux on Dell Networking switches, is aimed more at the service provider and large enterprise market.

“These are definitely for larger IT customers,” Joshipura said. “In particular, they are for organizations which have trained, Linux-savvy IT people to manage the switches.”

The open network’s holistic management allows security services to be provisioned in minutes without any constraints of physical network, and also enables a best of breed ecosystem with Innovation at each layer.

“This solution is able to get a lot of security features in,” Joshipura said. “It’s also something that they really want at the senior management level. A lot of departmental requests take months to do. This lets them make changes in minutes and hours, not months.”

Joshipura said the momentum to the software-defined network has been unstoppable.

“The only question is how to get there,” he said. “In the last couple years the market on SDN has been split, but we have now made it so much easier for customers to buy and deploy because Dell is a single point of contact.”

Joshipura acknowledged that the other OEMs are also pursuing their own software-defined network strategies, but thinks Dell has a slight advantage.

“Our approach here is more open than the more proprietary approaches from companies coming out of hardware,” he said. “I think we are a little bit ahead here.”

Both the VMware NSX running on Cumulus Linux solution and the converged infrastructure solution with VMware NSX are available for order beginning today.

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New Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop releases to take down adoption barriers Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:58:44 +0000 The major focus of the new releases is removing significant barriers to adoption, notably greatly reducing storage costs, and adding FIPS certification.


Calvin Hsu, VP of Product Marketing, Citrix Desktops and Apps


Citrix has announced the 7.6 releases of XenApp and XenDesktop. These significant upgrades add some new capabilities, including some which customers will recall from earlier versions of XenApp. However the major focus of the new releases is removing significant barriers to adoption, notably greatly reducing storage costs, and adding FIPS certification.

“7.6 is our fourth release on the 7.0 platform which we originally introduced to support Windows Server 2012,” said Calvin Hsu, VP of Product Marketing, Citrix Desktops and Apps. “While it introduces a lot of features, it is mainly taking down adoption barriers, like storage and certification.”

The really big one is the reduction of storage costs. One of the persistent problems with VDI deployments has been the high IOPS requirements of virtual desktops create a storage performance bottleneck which has had to be remedied by costly SSDs and high-end storage arrays.

“The solution here is a new feature in Citrix provisioning services, which are widely deployed for image management across XenApp and large-scale VDI,” Hsu said. “The latest features in provisioning features allow us to use the RAM in the commodity server to do reads and writes. VDI is usually 20 to 50 IOPS per user, and with this, it drops to 1 or 2.”

Hsu said this storage enhancement will particularly appeal to newer customers and newer VDI deployments.

The other major barrier removed was the requirement to satisfy the latest Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliance and Common Criteria security requirements.

“The government market has been waiting on this, which involved a significant amount of cost and effort from a Citrix perspective,” Hsu said. FIPS compliance is a key requirement for U.S. federal and state government agencies, while Common Criteria remains a global standard for security used officially in 19 countries and followed by others.

“The 7.6 release also adds new versions of features which were in older versions of XenApp,” Hsu said. These include application pre-launch, session linger and anonymous logon. “We brought them back into this platform because they address database resiliency, and the anonymous workstations are particularly valuable in the health care market.”

The new releases also enhance the audio, video and graphics experience. New high-performance graphics acceleration using GPUs provide high quality DirectX/2D rendering, which is important for engineers and designers. In addition, support has been added for unified communications such as Lync Server 2013.

Several features of the latest version seamlessly integrate with XenApp 6.5, including the new provisioning services, updates to Citrix Receiver, StoreFront and HDX, AppDNA, System Center Connector, and monitoring consoles.

“Having a lot of the 7.6 features integrated with XenApp 6.5 is important because millions of Citrix users are still on 6.5,” Hsu said. “Many of them are moving as they move to Server 2012 R2, but that’s a long process.”

Hsu said the strengthened release will help Citrix hold off a big push from VMware, which has been making a major effort this year to take the lead in the virtual desktop space – one of the few in which it is not the market leader – from Citrix.

“VMware has a huge field and a very large channel presence, which overlaps with us, and we have definitely heard the noise,” Hsu said. “It has led to some customers asking what we have done for them lately.”

Hsu said that they have been able to defend their turf because the Citrix products are still better at solving many business problems.

“What it comes down to is not features but customer use cases,” he said. “For example, a workflow that allows driver-less printing, which was solved for XenApp many years ago, doesn’t exist in the VMware product.” Profile management was another such functionality, he added.

Hsu said that Citrix’s large channel should like the 7.6 release.

“This release in particular has a lot of goodness in it for the channel” he said. “Taking down some of the barriers – such as storage costs – greatly helps partners sell to customers. For those focused on federal markets, being on FIPS, this also takes down barriers. The channel will also benefit from the lifecycle events involving product retirement. It’s an opportunity for them to evaluate how they do their delivery each time one of these happens.”

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 will be available in September 2014.

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Ingram Micro launches six of their own hosted services in Canada Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:13:42 +0000 Ingram Micro Cloud has also launched a new Cloud Elevate program, in which Ingram partners who register as a partner in Ingram’s Cloud Marketplace by September 30th will receive free Ingram Micro-hosted solutions with $100 credit a month.


Renée Bergeron, ‎Vice President, Managed Services & Cloud Computing at Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro has just made its new Cloud Marketplace, which was launched in June in the U.S., available in Canada. It has now followed that up by announcing six of Ingram’s internally hosted solutions, which were also previously launched in the U.S., are now available in Canada.

“At our Cloud Summit in April, we announced the next generation of Cloud Marketplace on Parallels software as well as a strategic partnership with Parallels,” said Renée Bergeron, ‎Vice President, Managed Services & Cloud Computing at Ingram Micro. “We launched the Cloud Marketplace in June in the U.S., and it is now available in Canada, and allows resellers to place orders and manage all of their cloud technology.”

Ingram Micro is also announcing Canadian availability of six new Ingram Micro-hosted solutions, which are managed by Softcom, the Toronto-based, wholly-owned subsidiary which Ingram Micro acquired last year. Three are hosted versions of core Microsoft products: Ingram Micro Hosted Exchange, based on Microsoft Exchange 2013; Ingram Micro Lync, based on Microsoft Lync Server 2013; and Ingram Micro SharePoint, based on Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010.

The other offerings are:

  • Ingram Micro Virtual Private Servers (VPS), which is powered by Parallels virtualization technology, and offers a full-service Infrastructure as a Service solution.
  • Ingram Micro Virtual Machine (VM), which is powered by Microsoft Hyper-V, and offers a full virtualization option that lets customers manage and run Windows server based solutions on Ingram Micro Cloud.
  • Ingram Micro Web Hosting, which provides all the resources and services needed for channel partners to host fully managed and secure business websites for their customers.

“Resellers in the U.S, have liked these Ingram-hosted services since they were introduced,” Bergeron said. “They are competitive from a pricing standpoint, but the attraction is more from the resellers having a long term relationship with Ingram, and knowing that we will always be channel focused.”

Bergeron also said that while the Ingram-hosted services do compete with the offerings of their own vendor customers, it hasn’t really caused problems.

“We haven’t had major concerns with vendors,” she said. “We already know how to handle solutions from different vendor partners and make them all successful. We compartmentalize. If we want to be successful as an aggregator, we have to show we can sell competing solutions, and our vendor partners understand that. Since we introduced these services, none of our vendor partners have missed a beat, and have continued to see continuous growth.”

Ingram Micro Cloud also introduced a new Cloud Elevate program, in which Ingram partners who register as a partner in Ingram’s Cloud Marketplace by September 30th will receive free Ingram Micro-hosted solutions with $100 credit a month on their Cloud Marketplace account for 12 months.

“Cloud Elevate was launched in the U.S. in the second half of June and is now being launched as part of the Canadian Marketplace,” Bergeron said. “It’s innovative because we recognize that some resellers want to jump into the cloud but have to grow their internal skill set. This allows them to do that, to provision services at no cost to them, although if they choose they can sell them and make more margin.”

Bergeron said they see large numbers of partners who need to develop their cloud practices.

“We believe the end customer environment will be a hybrid cloud, and some resellers are all over the value proposition of operating a hybrid cloud model,” she said. “A large number of resellers buy cloud for their end users, and set up mailboxes, but they aren’t building a true cloud practice. They are being opportunistic, without building a practice with professional services. Gartner says less than 5% are true hybrid resellers.”

Canada is not lagging the U.S. in this regard though, Bergeron said.

“We are seeing very similar growth in traditional business in Canada as compared to the U.S., and the cloud is just about at the same proportion, even though it’s a smaller market,” Bergeron said.

“We want to encourage partners to take advantage or resources we are making available to them to expand their cloud business,” Bergeron added. “We challenge all of them to take advantage of this and build out their cloud offerings.”

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ASG Software signs on Promark for data protection distribution Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:06:08 +0000 ASG has seen a significant recent ramp up in the amount of business done through its channel, and expects much more to come.


Michael Mayer, ASG’s vice president of channel sales

Naples, FLA-based ASG Software Solutions, (ASG), which makes a range of IT systems management, content management and cloud solutions for the enterprise, has made a move to strengthen its data protection portfolio. ASG has appointed Promark, an Ingram Micro company focused on data storage solutions, as a distribution partner in North America for the ASG Data Protection portfolio.

ASG is a veteran company, in existence since 1986, but its reliance on the channel is much newer. Earlier this year the company appointed Michael Mayer, who had held channel leadership roles at Peer 1 Hosting and VMware, as vice president of channel sales. They also introduced a global partner program, with an eye to expanding channel relationships.

“We are looking for net new logos,” Mayer said. “ASG has a long legacy of being a direct company. This is part of our natural evolution from that.”

Mayer said the channel growth in North America has been strong. While it is still under a third of sales today, that is in line with expectations. They are looking for strong channel growth over the next two years, to the point where channel sales will be significantly larger than direct.

The ASG Data Protection portfolio, notably the ASG-Time Navigator, ASG-Live Navigator and ASG-Digital Archive backup and archiving solutions was obtained when the company acquired Atempo in 2011. They used niche distribution at that time, which was supplemented in 2012 when ASG added Lifeboat Distribution as an additional distributor for this line. Still the market penetration was limited, and mainly in media and entertainment.

“Promark is very strong in the storage space, and this will open up a channel for us we historically haven’t talked to,” Mayer said.

Mayer also thinks that Promark might also be a good vehicle to distribute some of ASG’s other product lines.

“It starts with backup and recovery, but our products extend beyond that and I could see our relationship with Promark going beyond that as well,” he said.

“We are not looking for hundreds of partners through this,” Mayer added. “We have 87 partners who are active today, and we want to find more good ones who can work with us effectively.

Mayer is familiar with the Canadian market, particularly through his work with Peer 1, and has it targeted as a fruitful market to expand ASG’s presence.

“We have added some additional leadership in Canada, and we are in the process of pursuing very large and medium size distributors and resellers in the Canadian space,” he said. “There’s a lot more to come there.”

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PROMISE Technology launches FileCruiser private cloud solution Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:13:08 +0000 The long-time maker of RAID controllers and subsystems embarks on its first venture in the cloud, and its first software application venture, with plans to expand it into a hybrid cloud offering.

smartphone-FileCruiser 150x158

FileCruiser on a smartphone

Taiwanese-based PROMISE Technology, a long-time maker of RAID controllers and subsystems, has charted new terrain with the unveiling of its FileCruiser Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) solution. It is designed to allow both enterprises and SMBs to build their own private cloud storage service.

“FileCruiser is PROMISE’s first venture in the cloud, and our first software application venture,” said Elaine Kwok, Product Marketing Manager at PROMISE.

FileCruiser is clearly a move outside PROMISE’s long-time area of focus, but it was a move Kwok said the company needed to make.

”We were always looking for new ways to grow, looking for new markets, and looking for new ways to embellish commodity hardware,” she said.

The software used in FileCruiser was developed in-house by PROMISE, from the assets of a Taiwanese company they acquired. It functions like Dropbox, with more sophisticated access permissions for specific permissions rather than one big bucket, and has greater ability to scale. It is, however, entirely deployed on the customer’s premises, unlike Dropbox and other FSS services. All hardware and data thus remain in the in the user’s physical location.

FileCruiser deals with the BYOD issue, intelligently syncing files across all of a user’s devices, and giving anytime, anywhere data access. It has an app for both iOS and Android. It also offers FTP replacement for file sharing, team collaboration tools and email attachment integration. Kwok said that FileCruiser supports up to 10,000 accounts easily, and gives IT administrators control by allowing them to set limits on the size and types of files users can upload and sync.

“It is good for SMBs and small workgroups, and for mid-size enterprises,” she said. A university would be an ideal customer, where it would want to share relatively small files with the student body, although FileCruiser can sync large-sized files as well.

FileCruiser can be deployed on multiple hardware platforms, including a 3U-16 bay Intel x86 server-storage appliance, which is suitable to be deployed by SMBs. In addition, if performance demands it, FileCruiser can be implemented on multiple Intel x86 1U servers connected to PROMISE storage.

Kwok said that FileCruiser will be extremely price competitive.

“What’s key to making it cost-efficient is it is a perpetual license,” she said.

While right now, FileCruiser is a pure private cloud offering, there are plans to expand it.

“Going forward for the next quarter we will support Amazon, and will become a hybrid cloud solution,” Kwok said.

FileCruiser is just the first of a series of cloud-based solutions PROMISE has on the road map to address rapidly expanding data storage and access needs for businesses and organizations. Next on the road map is the PROMISE H1970, the company’s first scale-out cloud storage appliance for Virtual SAN, which is planned for release this fall. It consists of 70 hard disk bays with two independent server nodes that provide high availability, high storage capacity and high networking throughput. When combined with VMware Virtual SAN technology, the H1970 can consolidate free disk space in different servers into one virtual storage pool and can be used as a VDI appliance and Virtual Appliance.

“We believe the H1970 will be deployed mainly for Big Data analytics,” Kwok said. “It will also be sold primarily through our OEM channel, but there may be niche channel partners who are interested too. In the long term though, the channel will benefit from this because this virtual storage approach is the road map for our next generation of products. That versatility with virtual storage pools is something we are looking at across all our storage systems.”

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New ThreatTrack channel chief looks to distribution for ThreatSecure go-to-market Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:17:02 +0000 While ThreatTrack has a channel of SMB-focused VIPRE resellers, the new channel chief's task is to build an enterprise-focused channel for ThreatSecure, and to do that, he is looking to distribution.


Mike Conlon, ThreatTrack Security’’s vice president of Global Channels.

ThreatTrack Security, which began life as Sunbelt Software, was acquired by GFI Software in 2010 and spun off into its own company three years later, is no stranger to the VAR channel. That channel, however, has been primarily for the company’s SMB-focused VIPRE anti-virus solution. Their channel for their enterprise solutions, particularly for the ThreatSecure threat prevention and remediation offering, was much more limited. Addressing that limitation is the top priority of Mike Conlon, ThreatTrack’s new vice president of Global Channels.

Conlon has a long channel background in unified communications and video, including Tandberg and most recently Polycom, where he rose to worldwide channel chief before leaving the company and the sector entirely earlier this year.

“I’ve now been on board two months and my plan is very simple – build a go-to-market strategy for ThreatSecure around distribution and the VAR community, including everywhere from small mom and pops to global SIs,” Conlon said.

Conlon noted that ThreatTrack had already developed a successful channel for the SMB-focused VIPRE, but that it was of little practical use for selling ThreatSecure.

“We have gone from 30% to 70-80% on the channel side with VIPRE in the last 12-18 months,” Conlon said. “But these partners are on the AV side of the house. ThreatSecure is for the enterprise, and there is only a very small overlap between the two sides. I estimate that only 2-3% of VIPRE partners can sell ThreatSecure and support it on the back end.”

Conlon rapidly concluded that building a ThreatSecure channel required distribution, even though they are not looking to build a large volume channel, particularly because he does not have a large team under him who could manage this internally. To this end, they are announcing their first distribution deal, with Global Convergence Inc. (GCI), to distribute ThreatSecure, although Conlon says it will not be the last.

“I’ve looked at multiple distributors,” he said. “GCI is very seasoned, has a heavy enterprise focus, have great relationships with partners, and are focused on emerging technologies, so that was a no-brainer. They will be a great boutique distributor for us across North America.”

Conlon noted that they have a very clear profile of the typical partner they want to do business with across North America.

“We don’t want to commodify, so we are not looking for hundreds of partners there,” he said. “15-20 partners across North America with deep, solid relationships with the distributor will be good at the beginning.”

Conlon said he intends to bring two other distributors on board swiftly.

“We are looking at another federally-focused distributor, which is smaller, but which has deep relationships with the partner community and end customers in the [U.S. federal] government,” he said. ThreatTrack does have a federal presence now, but Conlon said they are primarily customers of their ThreatAnalyzer product line, not the more robust ThreatSecure products.

“I’m focused on the ThreatSecure products,” he said. “Our federal practice there will take a number of years to build.”

The other distributor target is a much larger one.

“This is a larger global distributor, although we are looking to start with them in North America,” Conlon said. “They are attractive to us not because they can sign up 1000 partners tomorrow. It’s because they are global and can leverage that. They have a couple competitive products to us in their product suite now. That helps us, that their partner base handles competitive products, so they already know how to position this kind of offering.”

The goal to have both these additional distributors on board is the end of August, Conlon said.

Conlon said they have a Partner Program for ThreatSecure in place, which is completely separate from the AV program, and that he expects it will appeal to prospective partners.

“Our Accelerate Partner Program has three tiers – Authorized, Gold and Platinum – but it helps build profitability a little differently,” he said. “While our marketing support varies by tier, we offer a standard discount regardless of partner type, as deal registration is where the big profit comes into play. We are also putting in back-end benefits that Gold and Platinum will earn, based on quarterly performance, that I don’t think anyone else in the industry provides.”

The ThreatSecure program is also offering what Conlon called a very aggressive limited term additional partner incentive.

“If they register an opportunity, and we approve it and it closes before December, both the sales rep and the SE will get between $1000 and $1200 each, depending on the appliance.

“All these benefits and our marketing dollars give us a very aggressive program for partners to work with ThreatTrack Security,” Conlon said.

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Nutanix adds hybrid cloud, high performance appliance Tue, 19 Aug 2014 20:33:57 +0000 Howard-Ting_400x4001-150x150

Howard Ting, Nutanix’s Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management

San Jose-based converged infrastructure vendor Nutanix has added to its solution roster. The upstart start-up, which has been successfully challenging the large established hardware vendors, has announced Cloud Connect, a new software capability which will leverage the public cloud and thus enable hybrid cloud architectures. They also announced a new, more powerful, hyper-converged platform, the NX-8150.

“Cloud Connect is our first entry into the hybrid cloud arena,” said Howard Ting, Nutanix’s Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management. “As a company, we believe in the public cloud. Just because we sell datacenter appliances doesn’t mean we don’t embrace it. That would be foolish for any company, especially a young company like ourselves, to fight that trend, particularly since in some cases it will be able to deliver better services and pricing.”

Ting said that in a world that is moving to the hybrid data centre, with the public cloud and multiple hypervisors, Cloud Connect is necessary to provide a full end to end solution for their customers.

“This lets us make use of the public cloud, and that’s a big breakthrough,” he said. “We expect big adoption of this, and expect that almost all Nutanix customers will leverage it in some way once we have it built out.”

This first cloud offering will only encompass AWS, and it will only be for archival and backup use cases, but Ting stressed that this is just a beginning on both fronts.

“This very first release will allow customers to move a workload for archival and backup to AWS, but there will be more public clouds coming, including Azure and others, including ones with some Canadian companies,” Ting said.

“The use cases we support will also expand,” he added. “Right now, it’s archival and backup, because that’s cheap and deep. The next one will be disaster recovery. Another scenario we are working on is cloud bursting, which is used by companies like ecommerce which have huge seasonal spikes. It lets you build for normal demand and handle the peaks with ‘bursting’ – using the public cloud to provide peak storage capacity. It’s a very valuable use case but it’s also difficult to do technically, especially when multiple public clouds are involved.”

Ting said that technical issues were a significant reason why the public cloud capability came later than their original solution.

“There are some significant tech challenges involved, especially with moving from one public cloud to the other,” he said. “You can’t just take a workload from Azure and drop it into Amazon, and there are other technical interoperability issues as well.”

Archival and backup was a good place to start, Ting said, because it’s easy for Nutanix to deliver a lot of value, and there aren’t the time sensitivity issues as with the other use cases.

“Many companies pay a lot of money for archiving, and they pay too much,” he said. “Public clouds can provide archiving and backup for a much lower price. Data recovery and bursting have a lot of time sensitivity, and you need services switched on very quickly, but in archiving, that’s less important, which was another good reason to start there.

Ting said that it would be 1-2 years before Nutanix can deliver the DR and bursting capabilities.

“It’s not something that’s coming in the next few months,” he said. “DR is the next step and bursting the last.”

The other part of the Nutanix announcement is the NX-8150, a powerful hyper-converged appliance engineered for applications that demand high storage capacity, low latency and fast storage performance, such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, and Oracle and SAP databases.

“This new platform shows that we can run any enterprise workload, including applications like Exchange,” Ting said. A single Nutanix NX-8150 can support up to 3500 Exchange mailboxes in just 2U of rack space.

“Bringing out the 8150 is a reflection of the attention we are getting in enterprise markets globally,” said Anton Granic, Senior Director, Nutanix Canada. “As we take down bigger logos, this will allow us to go after every workload in the enterprise.”

Granic said that in the Canadian market, they found that many organizations were struggling with figuring out which of their largest applications they could virtualize without affecting performance.

“The 8150 takes away a lot of the concerns that customers had about ability to run any workload and any application at any scale,” he said. “It’s a real closing of the loop.”

“Previously, the issue wasn’t that customers were unwilling to run us, but with some high-demand applications, they felt they had to compromise a little bit – on storage or performance,” Ting said. “With this, we now clearly have the best product that can handle any workload.”

Ting also indicated the 8150 won’t just be a high-end niche product.

“For anything that’s not VDI – which is a big workload for us – this will be the lead offering,” he said. “This is not some niche thing.”

Ting said that Nutanix believes their addressable market is $50 billion, and they are well positioned to go after it.

“This is the most disruptive company, with the best technology in the market, and is 100% channel committed,” he said.

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Xangati adds application-aware infrastructure intelligence to solution Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:05:37 +0000 Stephen Terlizzi, Xangati’s VP of Global Marketing

Stephen Terlizzi, Xangati’s VP of Global Marketing

San Jose-based Xangati, which makes intelligent cloud and workload performance management solutions for virtualized environments, has announced Xangati Product Suite XSR12. Its application-aware infrastructure intelligence provides cross-silo, real-time infrastructure visibility and automatic optimization remediation of the entire compute, networking and storage fabric. It also provides for near-real time resolution.

“This is a very significant release for us in two respects,” said Stephen Terlizzi, Xangati’s VP of Global Marketing. “Our customers have been asking us to relate infrastructure information to actual customer experience, and we did that with VDI. But with the advent of mobile, customers want end-to-end user experience and application-aware capacity.”

The ability to look at end user applications and service agreements and tie them back into the performance of the infrastructure takes Xangati’s live, continuous and cross-silo view of performance intelligence to the next level, Terlizzi stressed.

“Most applications deployed today fall into that new paradigm of Citrix XenApp where they are published as individual applications,” he said. “This release allows you to take those applications and tie them back to the infrastructure, through a combination of application awareness and infrastructure perfomance management. It’s more than just knowing how well things are working. It’s linking it to end-to-end user experience. We were doing this with VDI support, but Citrix customers said we have this XenApp infrastructure, and we would like to have exactly the same thing for application publishing.”

“Today the world is much more complex, and the challenge is to have an effective end-to-end user experience,” said Xangati CTO Jagan Jagannathan. “This solution provides things that the management vendors had no ability to get, and lets us help them in dealing with their deployment and completing their ecosystem.”

Xangati’s claim to fame has always been the ability of its scalable, distributed, scale-out architecture to track tens of thousands of objects and their hundreds of thousands of interactions second-by-second, across siloes, to allow rapid response to performance issues. XSR12 advances this by introducing two new dashboards, the App Dashboard and the Web Application Dashboard, which support Citrix XenApp and web-based applications, respectively.

“The new App Dashboard gets information from the Citrix XenApp server, and Netscaler application delivery controllers to look at the end-to-end user experience,” Terlizzi said. “In the same way that we in the past gathered information from virtual server infrastructures, we now gather application information, to become application aware of the end-using experience.” The second new dashboard, for web applications, lets you see how the web services environment is performing, and is particularly applicable to e-commerce, gaming and other mission-critical applications.

The XSR12 release also integrates fully with infrastructures designed on the FlexPod converged infrastructure, providing native support of Cisco UCS servers and NetApp storage devices.

“Support for NetApp filers, as opposed to having to grab it from the datastore, allows support of the dynamic cloud environment,” Terlizzi said. The addition of support for Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors was another necessary ingredient for full Flexpod support.

XSR12 will be released for general availability on September 29, 2014.

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SaaS BI vendor SiSense names first channel chief Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:14:30 +0000 SiSense has a short sales cycle for BI, and is offering aggressive margins, including the same margins on renewals.


Mark Ferretti, Vice President, Global Alliances & Channels, SiSense


SiSense, which sells Big Data analytics through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, has appointed channel and BI veteran Mark Ferretti to the new position of Vice President, Global Alliances & Channels. Ferretti will be charged with developing and growing a global network of alliances and partners.

“It’s building a channel up from scratch, which is exciting,” Ferretti said.

SiSense is another company from the very fruitful Israeli R&D tree, officially launched in 2010, very well funded (having just closed $USD 30 million in Series C financing), and based in Tel Aviv and New York City.

“It really is the next evolution in BI,” said Ferretti, who has spent 20 years in BI, most of it in channels, with Computer Associates, Business Objects, QlikTech and Cognos. “Because of our model and way we license, we are less expensive than the other tools out there, but there is more to it than that. This is simpler, and it is really agile. We don’t just do visualization of data. We have a back end, and if you have multiple data sources and you are looking to pull from large volumes of data – hundreds of millions of rows – this tool can’t be beat in the industry.”

Despite the power of their tool, SiSense has only recently begun to find success in the enterprise.

“We started out strong in the SMB and midmarket, and now as our name is getting out there, and we are growing, we are getting into the enterprises,” he said. “But lots of companies are relatively small, but need to get at those data sources, like a professional sports team that wants data analysis, or small companies that look at Excel spreadsheets.”

SiSense started by selling direct, although Ferretti said partners were always there in an “unofficial” capacity.

“Now I’ve been here a month, and the channel is now official capacity,” he said. “Our plans are to use the channel to grow.” Ferretti said that even though SiSense still has its direct sales force, the company is set up to avoid conflict.

“We are looking to channel as being the outbound engine of the company,” he said. “Unlike some companies, we don’t segregate where partners can and can’t sell. We also do little or no services – only at customer request – and it’s not something we are looking to build up.”

Ferretti said that even though they are a relatively new company, there is lots about them and their model that appeals to potential partners.

“It’s about selling the model and the opportunity for them to get payback,” he said. “We can show them it’s a win-win. Traditional BI and data visualization tools have a longer sell cycle. Our sales cycle time is shorter, so it’s a quicker ROI for a partner to come in, start selling sooner, and hopefully invest in more sales people covering the product.”

Ferretti said that being new, they also need to be aggressive with partner benefits.

“We have a very aggressive program for discounts,” he said. “It’s a repeatable model, year after year, and we give the same margin on renewals, which is a big differentiator for us. Our training also takes days, rather than weeks, like with some companies.”

Ferretti said that the more compressed sales cycle lets them target partners that might not be a fit for some of the companies who are out there.

“In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve talked with potential partners who have five people, and I’ve talked to some of the largest global integrators in the world,” he said.

“Our goal is not to sign up a plethora of partners, and we will be a bit choosy on the way in,” Ferretti said. “For our top partners, we want resellers looking to fill a business plan with us. Having a professional services practice is not a must, but is a ‘nice to have’ since we don’t want to do that ourselves. The sort of company that used to resell Crystal Reports should work well with us.”

SiSense is recruiting three types of partners: OEMs; Affiliate partners, typically consultants, who refer leads; and Reseller partners, who will provide level one support.

“We are looking for partners who are looking to grow their business with a disruptive company, so we are looking to build a partner ecosystem with all sorts of partner types,” Ferretti said.

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Markham’s Invixium signs on with Ingram Micro Canada Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:01:28 +0000 Ingram Micro has the exclusive rights to distribute Invixium's biometric fingerprint access control products in Canada, and they are working on taking them global as well.


Shiraz Kapadia, Invixium’s CEO

Markham ON-based Invixium has enlisted Ingram Micro to take its products to the channel in Canada. The distributor has been given the exclusive rights to distribute Invixium’s IXM line of biometric fingerprint access control products.

“We develop and manufacture next generation access control products which use biometric fingerprints for access,” said Shiraz Kapadia, Invixium’s CEO. “This is where the market is going – to biometric IP based security, with no more passwords to remember.”

The Invixium IXM product line allows for multi-factor authentication with PINs and access cards, and supports storage for up to 100,000 users and 500,000 log records with multiple connectivity options such as TCP/IP, PoE, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.

“We are highly optimized for Android, which gives us tremendous flexibility in terms of adding features quickly,” Kapadia said. In addition, the IXM line has an intuitive web-based software which allows for quick configuration and monitoring of the network.

“We also know that today smart technology has to look elegant, so we have a very attractive enclosure for the product,” Kapadia added. “We have simplified our products to only a few models, which makes it easier for customers and partners. We also make the products here, in Canada, not overseas.”

Like many Canadian tech companies, Invixium has done most of its business outside Canada to date, especially in those georgraphies where security has the highest of priorities. The Ingram deal is expected to significantly beef up Invixium’s domestic business.

“Ingram is a giant when it comes to distribution, with a massive reseller base,” Kapadia said. “They also have a very strong focus on physical security. I am convinced that through this channel our products will see a tremendous growth in Canada. Their IT resellers are asking for exactly this kind of product.”

Ingram Micro Canada will distribute Invixium’s full line of solutions to their channel partners throughout Canada, and is confident they will build a strong and broad customer base in the government, education, enterprise and SMB sectors.

“We will use Ingram’s might of resellers to expand throughout Canada,” Kapadia said. “We have some installers who would like to buy from us, but they are better served by buying through Ingram. We have given a lot of empowerment to our distribution partner although we have developed a certification program, so resellers will have to be certified to sell our product.”

This deal covers only Canada, but Kapadia said it was very likely they would ink deals with Ingram to distribute them in the U.S. and elsewhere.

“We are looking to expand globally through Ingram Micro as well,” he said.

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Gary Sevounts,’s Chief Marketing Officer


Today, backup vendor is announcing its new DataProtect 4.5 cloud backup and disaster recovery solution, which can now make full server image backups directly to the cloud, without requiring an appliance or a staging drive. It can also recover to any physical or virtual environment.

Founded in January 2009 and with a senior executive team from a variety of backup and Internet companies, says it approaches the backup space from a different perspective.

“Companies who didn’t start in the cloud have been trying to figure out how to put the cloud around their backup, but the problem is that because it’s a different architecture, if you don’t start from the Internet perspective it won’t work as well,” said Gary Sevounts,’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Our solution is highly optimized for the Internet, with a very high speed of recovery, up to 5 TB directly from the cloud in 24 hours.”

This includes building WAN acceleration into the service, because without it, an appliance-less model would be useless because it would be too slow. Sevounts said the company has an install base of over 1200 customers, and that in the first half of this year, they had 279% more customers than the first half of last year.

Version 4.5 is the first SaaS-based service to deliver complete cloud backup and DR – from files to databases to server images – directly to the cloud, with integrated WAN acceleration.

“The key feature of the new solution is server image backup, where full server images can be backed up direct to the cloud for faster and more efficient backups,” said Chris Schin, Vice President of Products at

“This is really the third stage of backup, after file-level backup and application-aware backup,” Schin added. “Initially we backed up file levels. From there, we moved to application-aware, database backup like SQL and Exchange. This sends the images in native Windows formats so they can be used immediately. In practical terms, it means after a disaster customers can start recovering their full server images immediately. This is the first SaaS-based direct-to-cloud image backups, without the need for an appliance or local storage.”

The solution is a purely internet-delivered one, with three components: a data centre infrastructure stored on a file system, housed in multiple data centers; the Zetta Mirror client, an agent, which is installed remotely on Windows, Linux and Mac OS’s; and a Service Management Portal, a centralized web portal.

“If there is a disaster, there is no appliance, which could be destroyed in it, so recovery can begin as soon as they have an Internet connection,” Sevounts said.

DataProtect 4.5 has also added several additional features. The new direct-to-cloud function extends to SQL and Exchange backups, which can now be streamed to’s cloud without requiring local disk space.

“These used to have to be stored somewhere in the local environment,” Schin said. “Now they are able to be streamed to the cloud, without staging on local storage.”

A two-factor authentication has also been added, using Google’s Authenticator, which requires both a password and a secondary verification code sent to a specified mobile device for login. does a lot of business with MSPs.

“We have been working with MSPs for a while, and formalized our MSP program in 2012,” Sevounts said. “We have seen a surge of channel partners, growing 310% in MSP signups in the first half of year compared to last year, with their customers up 870%. We also have a very high 97% retention rate for MSPs.”

“We are popular among MSPs because we are one of the few vendors that does not require an appliance, so there is no upfront cost to roll a truck. MSPs can literally sit at home, boot up a browser, and install and configure new clients through the portal.”

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Channel continues strong performance for Lenovo Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:46:29 +0000 Lenovo has also just relaunched its New Customer Bonus program, giving the option of a front-end as well as a back-end rebate.


Chris Frey, Vice President North America Commercial Channels and SMB at Lenovo


Lenovo has reported another strong quarter, with an 18 per cent revenue and a 23 per cent increase in earnings, even though key acquisitions of IBM’s lower end servers and Motorola’s smartphones continue their slow pace through the regulatory approval process.

“We saw very good earnings as it relates to the globe, and all of our products inside all our geographies saw very nice growth as well,” said Chris Frey,Vice President North America Commercial Channels and SMB at Lenovo. “For 21 quarters in a row now, we have outperformed the market. “We are number one in PCs for the fifth straight quarter, and grew our share by 2.7 per cent. We are number three in connected devices overall — PCs, tablets and smartphones. We now have our smartphone business in 38 different countries.”

Canada and the United States are not among them however. Frey indicated that once the Motorola Mobility sale to Lenovo is approved, Lenovo will be selling smartphones in North America.

“Both the IBM and Motorola transactions are on track relative to what our expectations were,” Frey said. “We are not distracted as they work their way through the process, and go to market with the portfolio we have today.”

Frey said that even without smartphones, the North America, which is a large part of the Americas business, has grown to the point where it is critical to Lenovo’s success.

“The Americas is now 22 per cent of the total Lenovo business,” he said. “When IBM’s PC division was acquired. Lenovo’s business was mainly China. The Americas is now a very significant part of the contribution, with both revenue and profits growing at 27 per cent. The Americas business is strong.”

Frey said that the channel in North America grew its total revenue over 20 per cent this quarter.

“85 per cent of our commercial business in NA goes through the commercial channel,” he noted. “We also grew our number of partners by 22 per cent year over year.”

Lenovo’s SMB business is around a quarter of the whole in North America (with another quarter being consumer and a half larger accounts).

“Our whole strategy around channel is that the channel drives SMB business and small public sector accounts, and last quarter, our SMB segment grew over 60 per cent, and we picked up 4 per cent of market share in SMB,” Frey said.

Frey also pledged that Lenovo won’t treat partners any differently due to its growth.

“Just because you grow and become more relevant to the market doesn’t mean you change your culture,” he said. “We have a belief that the channel has helped us and we will continue to work with them. Our historical view of partners, including small partners, will be our futuristic view. It’s about training, building trust and making sure people are being properly compensated.”

For example, Frey said Lenovo remains very focused on making sure they solve partner disputes.

“If you scale your business, but can’t support partners properly and the experience isn’t good, people will quit recommending your product,” he said.

On the programmatic front, Frey touted the success of the combat kits Lenovo first brought to market with the Mobility Kit after its 2013 partner event. Since then it has launched a refreshed version of that kit, plus new ones covering Servers and Education.

“These four kits have touched over 5,000 customers,” he said. “We will continue to leverage kits, depending on what is changing in the market.”

Frey also indicated that the New Customer Bonus program has just been relaunched.

“It has been a back-end program up to now, but now the partners have the choice to leverage it on the front end,” he said. “This has generated very positive feedback.”

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